A body of Nigerian aviation professionals, the Aviation Round Table (ART), has rated the industry’s performance in the last eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari low.
The non-governmental organisation (NGO) said that most of the Government’s roadmaps for the aviation industry in the last eight years were either stillbirth, unborn or inconclusive.
Art’s evaluation: Dr Gabriel Olowo, the President of ART. stated this on Thursday in Lagos during his welcome address at the Q1 Business Meeting of the organization with the theme ‘Aviation In Nigeria Beyond 2023 General Elections: Challenges and Prospects.’
According to him, the Key Performance Indices (KPIs) of the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika indicated that the planned national carrier, Nigeria Air remained a “stillbirth,” while the National Maintenance and Repair Organisation (MRO) was still “unborn,” almost years after the idea was conceived by the minister.
Besides, he lamented that the concession plan some of the airports in the country in the first phase of the exercise remained “inconclusive,” despite the financial resources that went into it.
Recall that the Federal Government had in the last quarter of 2015, planned to concession four major airports in the country- Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, Aminu Kano International Airport (AKIA), Kano and the Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA), Omegwa.
Olowo, however, said that the establishment of a new Civil Aviation Authority Act was successful, while the former Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) was transformed into the Nigeria Transportation Investigation Board (NTIB) was successful within the period.
Previous evaluations: He recalled that in its appraisal Q1 2022 appraisal of the Nigerian aviation industry, ART had evaluated the response rate to the topical issues treated in its past meetings during the President Muhammadu Buhari-led two-term administration with the majority of the issues unimplemented to date.
For instance, he said only 6 per cent of the ART’s recommendations were implemented by the government in almost 8 years, while 42 per cent are works in progress.
According to him, 52 per cent of its recommendations remained “unscratched” to date by the government despite their importance to the development of the sector in Nigeria. He said:
- “We’re grateful to the professionals in the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the NSIB for their dutiful role in ensuring aviation safety.”
Government’s failures: Olowo also castigated the government for its failure to establish some aviation agency boards as stated in the Civil Aviation Act (CAA), saying that this violated Section 29:1 of the Civil Aviation Act, as contained in Section 11:1 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution.
Also, Olowo decried that avoidable negligence on the part of organisations and unions in the industry had led to the humongous loss of revenues by airlines in the sector in recent years.
For instance, he mentioned the recent grounding of activities at the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc by its workers as one of the losses that could b prevented if there were enough communication across the board, insisting that affected parties, especially the airlines should be compensated.
Air Peace had within the 14 hours closure of NAHCO, claimed to lose about N500 million. He said:
- “Who takes responsibility for the financial losses airlines and service providers incurred during the recent strike that disrupted business activities at the airport?
- “Poor communication and crisis management exacerbated the strike’s collateral damages. A domestic carrier reportedly lost N500 million due to the abrupt shutdown.
- “The ART strongly condemns the strike and management’s inadequate response. With apologies, adequate compensation should be provided to all parties affected. Regrettably, if the plan of change is not higher than the pain of remaining the same, people don’t change.
- “The new airport terminal building in Lagos commissioned by President Buhari last year was said to have had an aircraft apron for parking, ditto one in Abuja obstructing the control tower. The light rail line in Abuja does not connect to the airport terminal building either. Were there no plans before these projects were executed?”
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